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As stated in the Introductory Note to the first volume of the present series, these books are in reality, as their names imply, “popular studies.” Everything in them has been written or prepared with the needs of the general reader or student in view as distinct from those of the professed special student. The intention has been to afford such information respecting the authors selected for treatment as will make the study of them not only a pleasure, but an easy pleasure. To that end broad and general views have been presented rather than minute and special ones.
Pains have been taken to illustrate the personalities of the authors; to show them as they were as men and citizens, and in their private life and home relations.
Very useful, we trust, will be found the notes prepared for readers for use in their own individual studies of the authors. These notes are sufficiently complete to meet the needs of all classes of readers—those who desire to go pretty far in their studies, as well as those who have time and opportunity to go only a little way.
Although published in three volumes, these studies constitute one continuous series. Ten authors have been selected for treatment, the ten greatest names in American literature. The student-reader should not rest satisfied until he has made a pretty thorough acquaintance with the whole ten,